Author Archives: Peacefull

Does Legislated Religious Freedom Lead to Discrimination?

In the public interest.

I did have some confusion around the difference between freedom of religion and religious freedom.  today I am clear.  The former is about people having the freedom to follow a religion without persecution.  The latter is about a specific Religious Freedom to behaviour in ways in accordance with that religion.  Israel Falou would be a case in point. On the one hand he is practicing Religious Freedom believing homosexuals will go to Hell, on the other hand he is discriminating as he is viewing those who are homosexual as abominations in the eyes of God according to the Bible.

I will provide two viewpoints one from homosexuals and one from Christians. The underlying point is that religious observance can cause division in our society and potential discrimination and vilification.

http://www.lovethetruth.com/evils/homosexuality/abomination.htm

I note this statement as general and potentially dangerous to homosexuals as a community.  I do know a homosexual female couple and they certainly are NOT the following:

The homosexual activist movement and organized pedophiles are linked together by a common goal: To gain access to children for seduction into homosexuality.

The other side of perspective:

LGBTQ + Religion

This came into my inbox about the Religious Discrimination Bill.  Below is my video referring to Turning the Tide.

Religious Discrimination Bill threat to inclusive services

Hi susan,

Equality Australia has released a statement calling on the Government to remove unbalanced provisions in the proposed Religious Discrimination Bill, which threaten safe and inclusive workplaces and services.

These provisions would give licence to people to discriminate against others or make demeaning comments if they claim to be motivated by their religion, and would override long standing federal and state anti-discrimination laws.

CHP is committed to the principle that all workers and consumers in our sector should have a workplace, or receive a service, in dignity and without discrimination. That’s why we have signed up to urge the Government not to implement the Bill, and encourage others to join us.
Sign the discrimination statement
or learn more about the Bill and its impacts.

Faith-based organisations, including Anglicare Victoria, Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand, Jewish Care Victoria, McAuley Community Services for Women, Sacred Heart Mission and Uniting Vic.Tas, are also joining this call for action and have developed a dedicated faith-based organisation’s statement to call on Government to not implement the Bill.

To find out more, get in touch with David or Paige from Equality Australia.

My video on YouTube is below.  This reference is the book I am showing.  https://barnabasfund.org/en/news/Our-Religious-Freedom-campaign-booklet-Turn-The-Tide-quoted-extensively-during-parliamentary-debate

I discuss inspiration, direct connection and love.  The challenge is can you love the unloveable?

The video comments do not condone any sexual act that harms adults or children.  Abuse is another matter and has to be confronted and the perpetrator held to account and if possible, reformed.

I raise the issue of religious government. This is a card on the table in Australia likely linked to US far right politics.

This video was inspired.

Stop Google and Microsoft Tracking as a One World Regime

In the public interest.

What I do is when I am in the library they re-load Microsoft Windows which means I have to go into privacy every time and turn off all the settings that enable Apps to access my camera, microphone, pictures, devices, retain my activity and so on. It is annoying to do it but I just steadfast refuse to allow foreign corporations access to my data as they are not acting in my interests, they are serving their interests. My privacy is of value to me.

I use Duckduckgo as an alternative search engine to Google as I do not trust Google given the CIA links. Facebook is the same. I regard Google as a One World Regime (not government) that is collecting data across the globe as a means of tracking, profiling and storing data on every person. They want to be able to identify everyone. This is the sign of totalitarianism and it is deeply concerning when you are witnessing more corruption, pathological leadership and no real accountability. I am very concerned for children as they are so open and innocent and can easily have their lives mapped, profiled from the cradle to the ground. People have to understand they use algorithms to direct and control data that we consume. We don’t know what is filtered out. We don’t what is real or fabricated in respect of photo shopping events, false flag events and what hits our news feed. I noticed MSN and Facebook teamed up. That was a red flag to me as foreigners decide what the public want without polling or asking. Moreover, the digital environment completely bypasses democratic rights and forces people to agree with terms and conditions knowing they are not lawyers or likely to read the information, so it is agreement by deception. that does not build trust and it is weighted towards their interests. The illusion is that this is free but in reality the global commons will pay more and more for this access which will be highly controlled and dominated by corporate interests. We don’t know who these people are, we do not vote for them and yet they have penetrated our governments, business, public libraries, transport and so on. As global Smart Cities is what is being trialled and rolled out. They will be electromagnetic spaces where people will be identified facially, their cars can be tracked, their sensors will pick them up and they can be located through analytics and location on phones or other devices. There are so many issues.

So in respect of this blog it is looking at how to stop the tracking so that you can have your privacy and stop the profiting from data gathering, as if they can’t get everyone they can’t be sure of the statistics. I write this whilst deeply mindful of the environmental collapse in the real world happening outside of the greed and blind spot of business as usual that is not responding to the massive imbalance in our consumption and planetary systems. Stewardship requires decisions to be made about the type of world we wish to participate in. Access and participating is a vote as you say YES and give up your CHOICE as you want access. I would advise you to think deeply about what you give up when you click the terms and conditions to access and when you search for data, websites, online activity to know the data is being gathered. Then an ad pops up in front of you as you are chatting to a friend believing you are private. The temptation for companies too much as they see the gold mine in unprecedented access to the personal lives of billions. The ethics and principles go out the door, although they will seek to assure and comfort you so you can continue with an addiction that is not truly serving you. It is more akin to entrapment.

If you choose to vote for freedom and a renewable future where you have a say then start by saying NO to tracking, profiling and privacy breaches.

These links were picked up in a duckduckgo search. You can download Google Analytics Opt Out to stop tracking.

Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on Download Page

https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptoutIf you want to opt-out, download and install the add-on for your web browser. The GoogleAnalyticsopt-out add-on is designed to be compatible with Chrome, InternetExplorer 11, Safari, Firefox and Opera. In order to function, the opt-out add-on must be able to load and execute properly on your browser. For InternetExplorer, 3rd-party cookies …

Add-ons, and Opting out of Google Analytics Without Them …

https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/ie/2010/08/16/add-ons-and-opting-out-of-google-analytics-without-them/Recently, Google made available the “GoogleAnalyticsOpt-out Browser Add-on.” This add-on enables consumers to “indicate that information about the website visit should not be sent to GoogleAnalytics.” We agree that making it easy for consumers to protect their privacy is good, and InternetExplorer offers a variety of features to help keep you…

Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on – Should I Remove It?

https://www.shouldiremoveit.com/Google-Analytics-Opt-out-Browser-Add-on-14635-program.aspxGoogleAnalyticsOpt-out Browser Add-on is a software program developed by Google Inc. The most common release is 0.9.6.0, with over 98% of all installations currently using this version. It adds a Browser Helper Object (BHO) to InternetExplorer. The setup package generally installs about 2 files.

Disable Google Analytics from Tracking You – GeekThis

https://geekthis.net/post/block-google-analytics/GoogleAnalyticsOpt-Out Extension. The official extension used to opt-outofGoogleAnalytics is the easiest way to opt-out and should always work even when Google makes changes to their services. There are a few downsides to the extension though. First, the extension has to be installed to your computer.

Google Analytics opt-out browser add-on | Wilders Security …

https://www.wilderssecurity.com/threads/google-analytics-opt-out-browser-add-on.386593/By default, IE blocks third-party cookies unless the site presents a P3P Compact Policy Statement indicating how the site will use the cookie and that the site’s use does not include tracking the user. Google’s P3P policy causes InternetExplorerto accept Google’s cookies even though the policy does not state Google’s intent.

How to Disable Google Analytics? – Cariblogger.com

https://cariblogger.com/how-to-disable-google-analytics/Howto disable GoogleAnalytics? Image by Shobart. If you are quite concern with your surfing privacy, there is a simple magic tricks that will help you to disable GoogleAnalytics Tracking. Well, the tricks has a catchy name. Let me introduce you to GoogleAnalyticsOpt-out plugin. This plugin give more choice for visitors.

Google Analytics opt-out browser add-on – Analytics Help

https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/181881?hl=enThe add-on prevents the GoogleAnalytics JavaScript (gtag.js, ga.js, analytics.js, and dc.js) that is running on websites from sharing information with GoogleAnalytics about visit activity. Using the GoogleAnalyticsopt-out browser add-on will not prevent site owners from using other tools to measure site analytics.

Google Analytics opt out browser add on not working for …

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/ie/forum/ie10-windows_7/google-analytics-opt-out-browser-add-on-not/d3848f76-48d1-4875-8a26-77875d4ea965Is the issue specific to installing GoogleAnalyticsoptout? This issue can occur if the add-on is not compatible with the web browser. I would like to tell you that add-ons are mostly installed on the drive where the Operating system is installed. Here are a few steps which you can follow and check if it helps: a. Double click My Computer. b.

Keep Google From Tracking Your Every Move Online

https://www.howtogeek.com/howto/18936/keep-google-from-tracking-your-every-move-online/Then click Restart Browser Now to run the add-on and keep your data away from GoogleAnalytics. Unfortunately, the InternetExplorer add-on installs as a normal Windows application. If you choose to remove it in the future, open Control Panel, select Uninstall a Program, and then select the AnalyticsOpt-out Browser Add-on to uninstall it. Firefox

How to create an Opt-Out link for Google Analytics

https://webgilde.com/en/analytics-opt-out/Opt-Out code with GoogleAnalytics for WordPress by Yoast plugin. If you are using the GoogleAnalytics for WordPress plugin by Yoast, you can even get the UA code from it. This is especially helpful when you run a multisite and every single site has its own tracking code. Simply include the following code into the functions.php file of your theme.

Yarra Plenty Regional Library Contracts BiblioCommons

In the public interest.

The use of foreign IT platforms to access libraries, to borrow, extend loans etc. is the beginning of digitisation but more importantly it allows foreign IT digital companies to be in a position of licencing their IT software to make an ongoing profit and to gather and share data.

The days of being able to go to a library and no be identified, filmed, barcoded and monitored are over. People are being asked for ID when there is no reason why security need be ramped up. This is big brother under the guise of protecting the public. I am glad I am in my 50’s as I couldn’t bare to be in this type of world as a young person who will be constantly identified, nothing in their lives will be private. I urge people to read the Terms and Conditions and Privacy statements, as they impact our future freedoms.

I do not consent to data gathering, profiling, sharing of my data. I also do not consent to access being denied if I disagree as a democratic citizen. I am not a consumer.

This is an interesting comment. It is noteworthy as iPhones and other data gatherers indicate they will pass on information to law enforcement. I am all for a WARRANT. I think that is a fair comment.

Another interesting statement from below:

You can opt out of recording your non-identifying site-activity data on Google Analytics by installing the Google Analytics opt-out browser add-on. The add-on prevents the Google Analytics JavaScript (gtag.js, ga.js, analytics.js, and dc.js) that is running on websites from sharing information with Google Analytics about visit activity.

BiblioCommons does not share information in response to law enforcement requests unless it is presented with a warrant or other legal compulsion.

Here are the terms and conditions of BiblioCommons

BiblioCommons International Privacy Statement

Last updated: Apr 15, 2019

Yarra Plenty Regional Library has entered into an agreement with BiblioCommons to provide an online service that will make it easier to track your holds and renewals and find the titles you are looking for. In addition, you may also choose to use this service to share ratings and commentary about the titles you find at Yarra Plenty Regional Library, and to connect with other library users. When you use the pages in Yarra Plenty Regional Library’s catalogue that say “Powered by BiblioCommons” in the lower left-hand corner of the screen, you are using what is referred to in this document as the “BiblioCommons Service,” and any information that is collected or shared here will be governed by this Privacy Statement. The problem is that this can change and we are expected to be aware. It is complex and fraught with privacy and hacking issues. The fact companies are based in either the US or in this case Canada, means they are outside Australian laws enter public services where personal data is held.

I personally do not consent to data sharing by a foreign company where it is not clear to the public that this is happening, as they are not fully informed, nor do they have a say or vote in it. It makes democracy a word.

https://yprl.bibliocommons.com/info/privacy

BiblioCommons believes that effective privacy controls are the cornerstone of open and engaged communities. We have implemented the standards described on this page to protect the privacy of all users, at the same time providing the opportunity to share information about books, movies and music for those who are interested. By using the BiblioCommons Service, you agree to the terms of this BiblioCommons Privacy Statement and the BiblioCommons Terms of Use. The BiblioCommons Privacy Statement and BiblioCommons Terms of Use can be accessed anytime through the links at the bottom of each page that is powered by BiblioCommons; together they are the only documents that govern your relationship with BiblioCommons.

Is this the only policy governing the use of my information on services offered by the library?

No. Information you provide on the BiblioCommons Service may be transmitted to your library and its designated service partners, where it will be handled according to the policies your library has implemented in those environments. Please check the library’s website to view these documents, or speak to a librarian.

Yarra Plenty Regional Library may have additional policies that govern other aspects of the services we offer. Please check the library’s homepage to view these documents, or speak to a librarian.

What types of information are collected on this service?

Several types of information may be collected and stored on the BiblioCommons service:

  • Personal information
  • Borrowing information
  • Shared content
  • Feedback and Suggestions
  • Non-Identifying information.

You will find a description of how this information is handled in the sections that follow.

Personal Information

What personal information is gathered?

BiblioCommons gathers personal information that you provide or choose to import from Yarra Plenty Regional Library. If you register for the BiblioCommons Service, your library barcode, PIN and borrower ID, name, birth month and year, and email address are automatically loaded into your on-line account from your library record. If some of this information is not available in your record you may be asked to provide it.

If you participate in some optional services, for example youth and literacy programs, BiblioCommons may also ask for additional information, such as your ZIP/postal code, education level and gender, in order to support program evaluation.

How is my personal information used?

We use your personal information to create an online account in your name, provide the services that you have requested, monitor and improve the service, keep your library record up to date, and customize content. We may store some of this information in a secure third-party data repository. We do not share your information or activity with ad networks or other entities that are not directly involved in the services you choose to use.

If you choose to share information or opinions about books, movies, music, and other topics, participate in online conversations, or create selections using Lists or My Shelves (“Shared Content”), information such as the username or name you have chosen to display, your library affiliation(s) and age group may accompany your Shared Content and appear on a profile page that summarizes your Shared Content. If you would like to change your username or modify the information that is made publicly available in connection with these features, please visit your Settings.

BiblioCommons may disclose your personal information and any content associated with your account if required to do so by law or in a good faith belief that such disclosure is reasonably necessary to: (a) satisfy any applicable law, regulation, legal process or enforceable governmental request, or (b) enforce the Terms of Use, including investigation of potential violations hereof.

Is my personal information protected?

Information in your BiblioCommons account that personally identifies you is encrypted and stored in a secured facility in Canada. This information will be used by BiblioCommons and Yarra Plenty Regional Library to deliver the services you request in accordance with this Privacy Statement. BiblioCommons will not share, gift, sell, rent or trade your personal information (e.g., your email address or month and year of birth). But we may display Shared Content (defined below) in the BiblioCommons Service, or make other commercial uses of Shared Content.

Law Enforcement Requests

BiblioCommons does not share information in response to law enforcement requests unless it is presented with a warrant or other legal compulsion.

Can I change or delete my personal information?

You may alter or delete any of the personal information in your BiblioCommons account except for your name, birth information and your library card number(s); please contact your library staff to make changes to these. If your personal information is updated either through the BiblioCommons Service or directly on your Yarra Plenty Regional Library account with the help of library staff, we will synchronize the new information in both locations.

At any time, you may delete your BiblioCommons account without deleting your Yarra Plenty Regional Library account. To delete your BiblioCommons account, please contact the BiblioCommons Privacy Officer. Note that while your BiblioCommons account information will not be available after deletion, some of that information may persist on memory discs.

Do I have to provide contact information?

No, you do not need to provide contact information to use the BiblioCommons Service. However you may choose to do so in order to receive notices related to your use of the library through the BiblioCommons Service. Your contact information will not be used by BiblioCommons for any other purpose without your consent, or shared with any party other than Yarra Plenty Regional Library without your direction to do so. We encourage you to check Yarra Plenty Regional Library’s policies to understand the other ways in which your contact information may be used by Yarra Plenty Regional Library.

BiblioCommons may send email or display messages on the service that provide you with the choice to take advantage of new features and functionality based on your past activity and stated preferences. To change your preferences for system messaging, please go to My Settings.

What measures are in place to protect children?

Parts of the BiblioCommons Service are open to children under the age of thirteen. However additional measures have been taken to protect their privacy and safety. Patrons under the age of thirteen (13) years (“minors”) will be restricted from using the BiblioCommons Service to communicate directly with other patrons; provision may be made for a more permissive service for minors with parental consent. While the Terms of Use prohibits the use of the BiblioCommons Service to arrange meetings with minors, children should be advised never to arrange meetings with strangers over the Internet.

Community-created content may not be appropriate for children. The BiblioCommons Service contains functionality that will enable you to collapse community-created content that has been flagged by Users who feel the content may be offensive to some users. Enabling this functionality will help decrease the likelihood of children encountering objectionable material when using the BiblioCommons Service.

Where can I learn more about internet safety for users under the age of 18?

We recommend that parents and guardians discuss internet privacy and safety with their children. When using the internet, children should be advised:

  • never to give out personal information such as their real name, phone number, email address, or school without first consulting their parents or guardians, and
  • never to arrange a meeting with someone they met online.

More information about children’s safety online can be found on the following sites.

Safety tips for children:

Tips for parents:

Borrowing Information

Is my borrowing record tracked?

No. Lists of your current loans, due dates, outstanding fees, etc. may be loaded from your library record during your sessions online, but this information is not stored on your BiblioCommons account, and it is never shared with other users. You may choose to create a record of your recently-borrowed titles if this service is supported by your library; information about recently borrowed items is never made available to the public unless you choose to enter specific titles on your shelves or in other Shared Content. If you do not choose to enable the recently-borrowed feature, no automatic record of your borrowing will be created.

Shared Content

What is Shared Content?

You may use the BiblioCommons Service to record information or opinions about books, movies, music, and other topics, participate in online conversations, or create selections using Lists or My Shelves; all of this content is called “Shared Content”. Shared Content may be useful for your own reference and can help other users find resources and information.

When you contribute content to an individual title, that title is automatically added to My Shelves, a collection that gathers all of the titles to which you have contributed content or chosen to add to your shelves. You may also create Shared Content by interacting with others through messaging, forums, or collaborative guides.

Can Shared Content be viewed by the public?

Shared Content has been designed for sharing, and is usually public. However you may make portions of your Shared Content private by using your Privacy Settings. In addition, messages sent directly to other users through the service are not publicly viewable.

If you are uncomfortable with the idea of sharing content with others, you may decide not to use My Shelves or contribute ratings, comments, guides, or other types of Shared Content. You do not need to create Shared Content in order to use the BiblioCommons Service.

Will my name be visible with my Shared Content?

Content and messages that you leave in public view or send to other users will be accompanied by the username that you create, or by whatever display name that you choose at a later date in your account settings. This display name is also linked to your profile page, which includes links to your Shelves, your shared Lists, and any other profile information you choose to display.

Can I change my Shared Content?

Shared Content that is not interactive may be edited or deleted on this service at any time. Deleted content is removed from our data bases and inaccessible to other users, but may remain in our data back-up system and in third-party search indexes like Google. Shared Content that is not deleted may remain available on the BiblioCommons Service indefinitely, even if you have closed your library account.

Messages and chat cannot be deleted or edited once they have been sent. They are logged and archived indefinitely. In the event of complaints regarding violations of the BiblioCommons Terms of Use, this type of information may be used by BiblioCommons to investigate.

Interactive Shared Content that other users may respond or contribute to, such as discussions or collaborative guides, may be visible to others indefinitely in association with your display name, and may persist after your BiblioCommons account is terminated.

Other Information

Feedback and Suggestions

When you submit feedback or suggestions they will not be considered confidential and may be stored with your name and email address for analysis and follow-up.

Non-Identifying Information

BiblioCommons also records anonymous information and activity in order to improve the quality and scope of the features and content you access through the BiblioCommons Service. For example:

  • Information such as your browser type or IP address may be used to help us understand how visitors use the service over time and how it might be improved.
  • Data from your account may also be aggregated in an anonymous way.
  • Anonymous search logs are analyzed to improve the search algorithms.
  • Activity such as borrowing and reading may be aggregated anonymously to guide the development of the library’s collections or to allow publishers to understand how their titles are being used.
  • Non-identifying information may be stored in a secure online service such as Google Analytics for use by BiblioCommons or your library. You can opt out of recording your non-identifying site-activity data on Google Analytics by installing the Google Analytics opt-out browser add-on. The add-on prevents the Google Analytics JavaScript (gtag.js, ga.js, analytics.js, and dc.js) that is running on websites from sharing information with Google Analytics about visit activity.

Cookies

Cookies are small files used to enhance the functionality of websites.

BiblioCommons may set and access temporary session cookies on your computer in order to make our system easier for you to use. In addition, a more persistent cookie is used to store your user preferences. These files do not contain or transfer any personally-identifiable information.

You may also choose on the log-in page to save your username in a cookie by checking “remember me.”

If you wish to be notified when you receive a cookie, you may set your browser to do so.

External Sites

The Internet is a big place: take care to guard your personally identifying information. This website may link to other websites that collect personal information. We recommend that you review the privacy policies of these sites before providing them with any personal data.

Changes to this Privacy Statement

This privacy statement may change from time to time in response to new laws, or to an evolution in BiblioCommons policies or practices. We encourage you to check this privacy statement from time to time for changes. Your continued use of BiblioCommons after a change will signify your acceptance of the new terms.

Change of Service

In the event that Yarra Plenty Regional Library discontinues its participation in the BiblioCommons Service, the Yarra Plenty Regional Library may transfer your information to a new service of a similar nature. In addition, Yarra Plenty Regional Library may agree to have your information transferred to a successor entity of BiblioCommons or to any entity which purchases substantially all of the assets related to BiblioCommons or a division of BiblioCommons.

Comments? Questions? Contact us. privacy@bibliocommons.com

Privacy Officer
BiblioCommons
119 Spadina Avenue, suite 1000
Toronto, ON M5V 2L1, Canada
tel. 1 (647) 436 6381

Are Libraries No Longer Public?

In the public interest.

I am concerned about the corporatisation of libraries. Where council members are now Board members and there is an executive team. Why is this a problem. It moves the public asset into private hands. You can tell when a public services becomes a corporate asset as the General Manager becomes a Chief Executive Officer. They are not publicising the fact that the public is losing control as they expand into areas that follow other countries.

This article looks briefly at the removal of fines from library returns happening in the United States, clearly we are following. Now people will go great, they will argue that they are reaching disadvantaged audiences but in what they won’t say is they are preparing for online digital delivery and this at some point will have a charge as what was free has to generate income.

It is a tragedy as children get hooked online with faceless faces increasingly controlling information. The importance of reading a book cannot be over emphasised. It activates the left and right side of the brain, it helps with spelling, comprehension and broadening a person’s knowledge. Books are better to read than online because the eyes glide more easily over pages and it is better for the eyes.

Transformative change or disruption is indeed happening and in my view it does not bode well for the public. I am deeply concerned for the wellbeing of children and the future created for them. It is not being done from a perspective of the best interests of the public it is being done to profit. Commercial approaches always favour business interests first.

Removing fines does actually mean that books will go missing, perhaps that is what they want. People won’t bring them back on time and this means when you put a hold on a book you increasingly will not get it. You will be frustrated and digital will look more reliable. Things are not as they seem on the surface. Smart Cities (“Cities”) are implementing the digital reality into every part of our lives. Everyone will be trackable and profiled. The changes are subtle so you can’t say anything but they are happening, not unlike the frog being boiled slowly. That is what I see.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2018/06/15/7ad6f80e-709d-11e8-afd5-778aca903bbe_story.html

More libraries are going fine-free. That’s good for everyone.

The central Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore. (Barbara Haddock Taylor/Baltimore Sun)
The central Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore. (Barbara Haddock Taylor/Baltimore Sun)

By Editorial Board ‎June‎ ‎18‎, ‎2018‎ ‎2‎:‎36‎ ‎a.m.‎ ‎AEST

IN AN era when e-books and new forms of entertainment have threatened to drive down library use, public libraries are increasingly looking to modernize and innovate. Some have turned to e-books or digital literacy programs to reach more patrons. Others have opted for a different approach: They have gotten rid of the pesky late fees that drive borrowers away.

Last week, the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore announced it was eliminating fines on overdue books and materials. Though borrowers are still responsible for replacement costs for lost items, the Pratt erased $186,000 in outstanding penalties for 26,000 borrowers and reinstated 13,000 users whose cards were previously blocked due to unpaid fines. In doing so, it joined a growing number of libraries across the country that have decided to go fine-free.

Eliminating these fines serves a laudable purpose: The policy can expand access to library services among groups that might otherwise struggle to return materials on time or keep up with payments, including low-income families, people with disabilities and the elderly. In some cases, as patrons return, fine-free policies can actually work to improve library circulation — and even the library’s bottom line. The Pratt, for example, relies on library fines for less than a quarter of a percent of its annual budget, a figure it believes it could largely save in reduced staff time collecting and processing fines. AD

Proponents of library fines argue that they incentivize borrowers to return books on time and teach personal responsibility. But there is little evidence that fines have any effect on the timely return of library materials. In fact, much of the existing research suggests that they do not affect overdue rates and instead deter readers from borrowing materials in the first place. Libraries have also found that fines heavily affect low-income families and children, excluding the very patrons who rely on libraries the most.

Not every library can afford to follow in the Pratt’s footsteps and jettison fines altogether. Many library systems depend heavily on income from fines to cover their regular expenses. Others might find it more viable to eliminate a subset of fines, such as fines on children’s books. Regardless, the experiences of libraries that have successfully implemented fine-free programs offer food for thought for other networks. Perhaps the days of relentless overdue notices and droves of blocked users are coming to an end.

Read more:

Steve Barker: A library where everybody knows your name

Richard Reyes-Gavilan: How a public library set me free

The Post’s View: Readers win when libraries add e-books, but preserve print, as well

Stephan Barker: Libraries help close the digital divide

Foreign Influence in Whitlam Dismissal

in the public interest. The issue here from my perspective is sovereignty and self determination. For me 11/11 is about Australian democracy not the first World War. Although there is a link.

http://www.changingthetimes.net/essays/dismissal.htm The Dismissal

The Dismissal: Why

Gough Whitlam Couldn’t

Simply Say No

 

 

 

A companion paper to Remember, Remember, 

The Eleventh of November, As A Time Of Blood And Death.

by David Atwell

I am quite sure by the time some even finish the end of this paragraph, they may think that I am some crazy left-wing Australian unworthy of breathing their oxygen. Yet, considering some 31 years have passed since the greatest political crisis of Australian history, and having done much academic study since then, I do believe that “It’s Time” to begin, not only a Constitutional analysis of those events back in November 1975, but also ask the fundamental question why the dismissed Australian Prime Minister, who was central to this drama, one Gough Whitlam, simply did not tell the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr, to basically fornicate off.

For those of you who may not be aware of this infamous act in Australia history, I will spend some time narrating it here. On 11 November 1975, Remembrance Day in Australia took on a whole new meaning. Instead of remembering the ending of the First World War in 1918, Australians had a new thing to remember: the sacking of a democratically elected government, lead by Gough Whitlam, by the Governor-General Sir John Kerr. This act had come about for several reasons, which I will now outline.

The obvious reason for Whitlam’s dismissal, now readily known as simply The Dismissal, was due to the fact that the Opposition in Australia, the Liberal Party and their coalition partners the Country Party, used their numbers in the Senate to defer the Supply Bill. This Supply Bill was the all important annual Budget, which ensured that the government of the day could govern the country, as it paid for everything more or less. Without it the country would soon shut-down as the Federal government would have no money. As a consequence of this, Kerr argued he was given no choice other than dismiss the current government and ensure new general elections. Whether he had to power to do so, without such advice from the Prime Minister of the time, is highly questionable and we will look at this a little later.

There are other reasons for The Dismissal, although it must be stressed that they are of the conspiracy type and little hard evidence exists to prove them. Having said that as the saying goes truth is stranger than fiction, and considering these theories have persisted for over 30 years, combined with the fact that they have become Dismissal folklore, they should be mentioned even if not necessarily accepted. What they often do, however, is orbit Fraser’s desire to become Prime Minister through any means available. Hence if Kerr gains much of the blame, for The Dismissal, Fraser too should accept much of it as well, because of his political expediency in order to become Prime Minister, regardless of the Constitution, and the damage that it received thanks to his political games.

All of the leading conspiracy theories involve, thus, Fraser on the one hand and the American Central Intelligence Agency on the other. Depending upon which exact theory we follow, they always seem to depend upon how much the CIA was actually involved with The Dismissal itself. Mind you it must be noted that it was not as if the Whitlam Government was not involved with the CIA themselves on various matters, nor can it be denied that the Coalition Parties had not had dealings with the CIA either. What a number of the conspiracy supporters point out, though, are three undeniable events which took place leading up to The Dismissal: all involving the CIA.

The first event took place during the cut and thrust of Parliamentary debate between the Whitlam government and the Opposition. Out of nowhere, or so it seemed, the government accused the leader of the Country Party of sharing a house in Canberra with a couple of CIA employees. This was somewhat denied at first, but eventually Doug Anthony, leader of the Country Party, finally admitted to this whilst claiming that it did not prove a thing.

The second instance was far more substantive albeit somewhat connected with the first. When the Whitlam government found itself in trouble over the Loans Affair (which we will look at a bit later) the government launched an attack against the CIA. No one knows, to this day, why Whitlam begun this action, but essentially he demanded from them a list of every employee, agent or otherwise, who was in Australia during the period in question. By treaty, such information was supposed to have been passed on to the Australian government, regardless of party, as a matter of course anyway, but for some reason Whitlam demanded that it all be done in public and the list was to be tabled in Parliament. This list was supposed to be handed to Whitlam on or around 11 November 1975. It never was.

And finally, connected with the CIA agent list business, there was a back channel communiqué made by the CIA to the Australian Secret Intelligence Agency (ASIS) office at the Australian embassy in Washington DC. In no short terms it asked ASIS whether the security arrangements between the two countries had altered and in what direction was Whitlam taking Australia politically. Although it was probably an honest attempt at trying to get an understanding as to what Whitlam was doing, it nevertheless gained the attention of the Head of ASIS who immediately informed Whitlam. Within 24 hours Whitlam had been sacked.

But, regardless of whether or not the conspiracy theorists might be right, at least the legitimate reason why Whitlam was dismissed was the Loans Affairs. These loans all involved one shady character by the name of Khemlani. The Whitlam government wanted to raise a $au4 billion loan to develop the north-west gas and oil fields just in the immediate aftermath of the Yom Kippur War whence OPEC, lead by Saudi Arabia, placed an oil embargo upon the West for its support of Israel during that conflict. The irony is today, the north-west gas and oil fields are one of Australia’s great resources. Whitlam’s mistake, however, was his willingness to use Arab money, as the loan source, instead of the traditional manner of having the loan raised in London or New York.

In doing so, when news got out about the loan, was bad enough, yet the government was able to whether the storm in June-July of 1975. However, it then sealed its fate when, even though Whitlam announced to Parliament that the loans were not going to be sought and that authorisation had be withdrawn to further loan negotiations, two of his government Ministers, one REX Connor and Jim Cairns, decided to continue seeking these loans secretly and thus in total contradiction to what the Prime Minister had told Parliament. Inevitably word got out, from Khemlani himself as a matter of fact, that he had continued to negotiate the loans well after Whitlam had said otherwise. And luckily, or possibly deliberately, for the Opposition, such news arrived just as debate over the Budget had commenced. About three weeks later The Dismissal took place.

Now our first question to raise, in order to explore why Whitlam simply did not tell Kerr to take a hike, is the Constitutional ins-and-outs from which Whitlam was coming from. Essentially Whitlam believed in the Westminster system’s doctrine of Ministerial Advice. Basically it means that the Monarch or their representative – in other words the Governor-General in this case – can only act upon the advice given to them by the Prime Minister or one of the other Ministers of the Crown – in other words Cabinet Ministers. The Monarch may reject this advice, however, but they may not initiate independent action themselves nor may they gain advice from any other source other than those already mentioned above.

In Australia, prior to The Dismissal, it was generally believed that this doctrine of Ministerial Advice had been written into the Constitution under the following Sections:

 

62. There shall be a Federal Executive Council to advise the Governor-General in the government of the Commonwealth, and the members of the Council shall be chosen and summoned by the Governor-General and sworn as Executive Councillors, and shall hold office during his pleasure.

63. The provisions of this Constitution referring to the Governor-General in Council shall be construed as referring to the Governor-General acting with the advice of the Federal Executive Council.

64. The Governor-General may appoint officers to administer such departments of State of the Commonwealth as the Governor-General in Council may establish.

Such officers shall hold office during the pleasure of the Governor-General. They shall be members of the Federal Executive Council, and shall be the Queen’s Ministers of State for the Commonwealth.

After the first general election no Minister of State shall hold office for a longer period than three months unless he is or becomes a senator or a member of the House of Representatives.

 

Do note that the term Federal Executive Council usually applies to the senior members of Cabinet: in other words the Prime Minister, the Deputy PM, and one or two other Ministers of State.

The supporters of Kerr, however, always point towards Section 2 (as well as Section 64 Para i & ii above) in justifying his actions insofar as the Governor-General has the right to hire and fire:

 

2. A Governor-General appointed by the Queen shall be Her Majesty’s representative in the Commonwealth, and shall have and may exercise in the Commonwealth during the Queen’s pleasure, but subject to this Constitution, such powers and functions of the Queen as Her Majesty may be pleased to assign to him.

 

But this Section cannot be taken alone, nor Section 64 for that matter, when dealing with such issues, because Section 67 very clearly defines the situation:

 

67. Until the Parliament otherwise provides, the appointment and removal of all other officers of the Executive Government of the Commonwealth shall be vested in the Governor-General in Council, unless the appointment is delegated by the Governor-General in Council or by a law of the Commonwealth to some other authority.

 

 

In other words the Constitution states that the Governor-General can appoint and dismiss, but can only do such things when the Governor-General is advised to do so by members of the Federal Executive Council. It goes without saying that this was never the case in November 1975.

So essentially Whitlam was taken by surprise on that fateful morning as he never expected whatsoever to be ambushed by his dismissal.

And now finally we get to explore the alternate history part of this essay. It is well known that it took some 2 hours before Whitlam finally made a public appearance with some eloquence, tempered with great passion, in giving his famous speech on the steps of Parliament, proclaiming in part:

 

Well may we say ‘God Save the Queen’, because nothing will save the Governor-General.

 

These are some fighting words, but Whitlam never really made a fight of it: not at least in the more traditional sense of leading a revolution against the Governor-General (and the Monarch) akin to what our American cousins did some 200 years prior to 1975. In many respects, considering the great anger of the crowd in Canberra that day, it would not have been hard for Whitlam to have done that. Certainly the large student population would have likely joined such a revolution as would have the large trade union population. And, as events would unfold throughout the rest of November and early December, such a revolution could have taken place judging by the tens of thousands of protesters who turned out at the various Labor Party political rallies running up to the election in December 1975.

 

The answer to this question probably lies in two parts. And it was all because of Whitlam in many respects. At this point in time we should probably look at the man himself in question albeit briefly. To begin with he was a World War II veteran. In fact he served in the Royal Australian Air Force. Furthermore, he was also a lawyer for many years before being elected to Federal Parliament. As a consequence, he had served in Parliament for many years. He was also, what was called back then, a social democrat – not a revolutionary socialist. And finally, after Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War, and the wholehearted unpopularity which it had gained by early 1972, wherein millions of Australians marched everywhere against that war, all convinced Whitlam that war achieved nothing but blood and death.

So here we are, in November 1975, with Australia on the very edge of civil war. Regardless of the moment, Whitlam would have known for certain that, even though he may have had much support in various parts of the nation, a significant number of Australians would be against him regardless of what he decided to announce on the footsteps of Parliament. As such, and even though Whitlam probably did not know it at the time, the armed forces had been alerted to expect trouble by the Governor-General. Although the reservists had not been called up, the regular forces were mobilising nevertheless with the possible task of taking on rioting students and trade unionists. This could have meant that Australia would face a war, in the end, not too dissimilar to Vietnam, which was clearly an experience anyone, let alone Whitlam, would want to avoid. Furthermore, Whitlam knew all too well the fate of the socialist Chilean President Allende from only a few years before where his death, at the hands of the military, meant a dreadful future for Chile under the likes of Pinochet. Taking account of all this, then, as well as Whitlam’s character, it is not surprising then that he declined to call for a revolution.

Although the above few paragraphs may appear to make Whitlam out to be pious, in truth he was anything but. He was a politician first and foremost. Whilst Whitlam may have feared destruction and much bloodshed, had he called for a revolution, we must remember that he was also a lawyer who loved the Constitution. He believed that the Constitution was on his side. But he also believed that he was just given a huge political windfall. Due to lots of different reasons, the Labor Party had become very unpopular with the voters. The oil blockade of OPEC ensured a global recession had taken place. Not only was the price of oil high, but food and everything else had become much more expensive. Similarly, unemployment began to rise and numerous companies had gone to the wall. Then there was the Loans Affair business. All this made for one very unhappy Australian electorate.

Then came The Dismissal. This changed the entire political scene, not just overnight, but within a matter of minutes. All of a sudden Whitlam was seen in a new light by many Australians insofar as it was seen that big business, the Liberal Party, not to mention the nation’s elites, had broken the rules in order to kick Whitlam out of office by any means necessary. To put it simply, in terms most Australians understood, the so called “neutral umpire”, that being the Governor-General, had conspired with the “enemy” which led him to deliberately cheat and break the rules. Whitlam, in the few hours he had from when he was dismissed to when he gave his impromptu speech on the steps of Parliament, had probably thought about this and believed that, in just under a month’s time, he would romp it in at the elections and given a new lease of life. He more than likely believed that, if he played by the rules, whilst the others did not, Australians would side with him, if for nothing else, he played the game fair.

What Whitlam did not calculate on, however, was the political campaign waged by Fraser. Fraser knew he was tarnished by The Dismissal, regardless of how innocent he tried to portray himself, and hence basically ignored The Dismissal in his election campaign. Consequently, he concentrated on petrol prices, he concentrated on Australia being in an economic recession, he concentrated on bankruptcies, and he concentrated on unemployment. At first, Australians hardly listened to what Fraser had to say, as they were too wound up in the emotional climatic events of The Dismissal itself. But as the election approached, Australian’s anger over The Dismissal lessoned and they looked into their ever shrinking wallets. It is probably fair to say that the election results in December 1975 were of mixed emotions. In the end, however, Australia may have wanted to vote for Whitlam, but their reduced hip pockets made them vote for Fraser instead.

 

 

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